New Trend for Expectant Mothers: Sonogram Parties

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RENO, Nev. -- Forget baby showers, expecting parents are taking baby buzz to a whole new level. The most recent craze in America among pregnant women gets you up close and personal.

This party doesn't have party favors, cake or floral arrangements. The centerpiece is mom's bare belly and all eyes are on her child-to-be. Sonogram viewing parties let expectant mothers share more than just photos with loved ones.

"They get to enjoy the experience with you. It's an amazing experience. Even though they send you home with a DVD, you get it up close and personal," said Ashley Lucero, an expectant mother.

3D Keepsake Imaging offers elective sonograms for moms and her loved ones.

"Some medical offices won't allow children or only let one or two people to come, but here we encourage big parties," Danae Beck, A.R.D.M.S lead sonographer said.

Proud mom Ashley Lucero is 28 weeks pregnant with her second child and wanted to share son's heart beats and striking family resemblance.

"The way you could actually see the face, the toes and everything is amazing...the pictures we had with our first son in 3D were identical to how he looks like when he was born," she said.

You can determine the sex of your baby as early as 14 weeks, but if you want a good 3D picture of your baby, doctors recommend coming back in about 20 weeks.

"The first time I cried, this time I was just excited. When our first son was born, we had the whole waiting room full of people with us," Lucero said.

It's an emotional experience, but sonogram appointments can also be complicated and upsetting. Are ultrasounds safe?

"If we do see something that looks suspicious or needs to be followed up with your doctor, we have the ability to know what we're seeing and make a phone call to your OBGYN," Beck said. "Most of the time, our clientele has been seen by their doctor they know everything that is going on with their pregnancy and they're here to enjoy it."

Just because it's safe, it doesn't mean it should be done excessively. Elective sonograms range from $75 to $250.

To make an appointment or to find out more about sonogram viewing parties, check the link below.